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Corrections officer accused of creating fake immigration documents

06:17 PM Mountain Standard Time on Tuesday, May 30, 2006
By Mike Watkiss / 3TV reporter

An Arizona Department of Corrections officer is accused of using her position to create fake immigration documents.

Victoria Romero, was one of four women charged in a Phoenix-based fraud schemed that reportedly charged as much as $7,500 for fake immigration documents, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said Tuesday.

Romero, 36, of Buckeye, is facing conspiracy and money laundering charges and is accused of victimizing more than 500 people around the country including people living as far away as New York and Florida.

Carmen Tolle, 42, was reportedly the ringleader in the scam that targeted illegal immigrants. To show legitimacy, the suspects reportedly ran each victim through an application process that included fingerprinting. The victims either received phony cards or no cards.

Romero, a guard at Perryville, who is now on administrative leave, is accused of taking some of the fingerprints and was often in uniform when the alleged offenses occurred. Romero allegedly used her credit card or allowed her credit card to be used to buy a fingerprint stand and 300 FBI fingerprint cards.

Tolle pleaded guilty to fraud and theft and was sentenced earlier this month to more than seven years in prison and five years probation.

Other suspects in the case are The other defendants include Rachel Gallegos, 37, who pleaded guilty to theft with a prior conviction. Gloria Orozco, 44, of Phoenix. Orozco pleaded guilty to forgery and was sentenced to six months in jail, four years probation and ordered to pay $23,000 in restitution.

Romero will be arraigned in Superior Court June 7. If convicted as charged, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $180,000 fine.